We have been talking with our educators lately about celebrating Kai time with a special ritual. This was firstly introduced at our weekly playgroup with table cloths for the tables and vases with flowers in them. This has followed onto the educators own home programmes with the children setting the table, picking their own flowers and having warm face cloths readily available to wash their hands and face. These careful actions take a humble routine into a scared ritual, honouring the importance of respectful interactions which is at the heart of our practice.
Our video ‘At home with Nessa’ captures the essence of PLAY, as Albert Einstein said “Play is the highest form of research”. Nessa lives in Belfast with her husband Sandro and two Children, Giancarlo and Zara. Call us for further information, 0800 Inhome
Winter Wellness Top 5 Tips
BOOST YOUR VITAMIN C
Vitamin C helps keep your immune system healthy and can help reduce the length and severity of a cold. However, it is no use swallowing endless vitamin C supplements when you have a cold – that really won’t help. You need to have plenty of foods rich in vitamin C on a day to day basis to get the benefits, that way, if you do get a cold – hopefully it won’t last as long! Lemons, oranges and feijoas are all in season right now and are packed with vitamin C. Add lemon juice to cold or hot water for a tasty drink or try feijoas with low fat yoghurt for a delicious snack.
When it is cold and wet, it can be very tempting to stay inside – but it is vital that you don’t get caught in that trap, you need to get outside. You need to expose your skin to daylight to help your body to make Vitamin D which is important to keep your bones healthy, but also helps keep your immune system healthy. You also need to expose your eyes to daylight to help regulate your mood and sleep.
Wherever you can, choose the wholegrain option – whether it is bread, crackers or breakfast cereal. Oats, brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat are other examples of whole grains which are delicious and so versatile. Wholegrains are packed with fibre which keeps things moving through your gut and they are also a great source of B vitamins which helps keep your energy up. Try adding them to soups for extra nutrition.
GET IN YOUR GREENS
We all know vegetables are good for us, but as the cold months kick in, it is a great time to enjoy some of the dark leafy greens! Spinach, kale and silverbeet are a few examples – they are a great source of vitamins and minerals to help keep your body in tip top shape through the colder months. BONUS – these greens are super easy to grow too so get into the garden!
Colder, darker days can make the couch a very appealing place to be – but, keeping active will help you to maintain a healthy weight, keep your body working well and help you feel better so find a way to keep moving! Don’t be afraid of the rain, get a good umbrella and coat – you can still enjoy a walk when there are a few rain drops. See what classes are running at your local leisure centre, try going for a swim – just find something that works for you that you can keep up with throughout the whole of autumn and winter.
By Claire Turnbull. NZ Registered Nutritionist, AUT Millennium Institute. For more information about Claire, visit her website: www.claireturnbull.co.nz
Kia ora and Welcome to Term 2
Can you believe that it is Autumn already! This time of year is perfect for exploring nature as we run through the fallen leaves, search under rocks and stones for bugs and slugs to be found and enjoy the mid morning to mid afternoon sun shine. We have a lot planned this term with an exciting trip to Mega Air next month and then off to an Artisan Bakery for some morning tea. We would also like to welcome three new educators, Elena, Laura and Vanessa.
We have changed the way we review our policies. Each month we will post up on our family Facebook page what policy we are reviewing with a copy of the policy. Most of our policies are reviewed every three years with some needing to be reviewed annually and we would love your input into this process, your time reading and offering suggestions is appreciated.
We have recently passed our first Audit… YAY!! One aspect that was mentioned was our sign in sheets. Please ensure you are writing the actual time you drop off your child and the actual time you pick them up, along with signing the form daily. Please also note that our home educators have life events outside of their work hours, please be conscience of this and adhere to your booked hours.
With winter soon approaching we like to revisit our policy surrounding sickness. Please keep your child at home if they are unwell, if you are unsure give your educator a call to discuss with them and decide together if attending will benefit your child or if a day at home is what is needed. If you child has had vomiting or diarrhoea please keep them at home for 48 hrs after their last episode. Outside play in winter is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. Please ensure gumboots, jackets and hats are provided daily for the children to continue to play outside. We have added an extra wellness page to this newsletter for some tips to staying healthy this winter.
Professional Development for educators.
We have two professional development opportunities on offer this term. One is surrounding healthy eating through Nourished Beginnings. Nourished Beginnings provide nutrition and whole food professional development training for ECE services throughout NZ and Australia. The other one is a course through Child Matters. Child Matters is a National Charitable trust. They work throughout New Zealand, educating, supporting and inspiring adults to protect children. We are continually striving to provide great learning opportunities for our educators to grow and learn and for your tamariki to benefit from their new learning.
“Whaowhia te kete matauranga” – Fill the basket of knowledge.
A short video showing Heather’s weekly programme. Heather follows the cues of her children to plan a programme based on individual interests, with an emphasis on trust and respect. Heather lives in Casebrook with her husband Neale and their two children Jacob and Maddi. Call Louise for more information 0800 Inhome
Organic Kids… Our journey of passion and quest for quality.
Hi, we’re Bec and Lou, directors of Organic Kids. We are two passionate early childhood professionals from Christchurch, proud to share our journey and passion in early childhood education. We are both working Mums and have known each other for 6 years as colleagues and now friends. Together we have over 30 years experience in the early childhood sector and have both experienced life as teachers in centres and as visiting teachers in the home based sector prior to our joint venture. It is through our experiences that our commitment and passion for home based care was born. Our dream to open our own home based service was considered one night, and that dream became a reality in February 2015 when ‘Organic Kids In-Home Education and Care’ opened its door for the first time. After being open for 18months we can say that our passion and commitment for quality in-home childcare is now a successful business where we can mold our own beliefs and values throughout our pedagogy.
The journey was a ride that we often draw strength from. There were a lot of long nights writing and fine-tuning policies, sorting out how our programme was going to look, what our point of difference would be and our business name. We looked straight to who we believed were the leaders in Early Childhood and took inspiration from them. We knew that our philosophy would be RiE based following the direction of Kimberley Crisp, Penny Brownlee, Magda Gerber and Emmi Pickler. From there it was policy time where Childspace was our first and last port of call, we did not need to look any further for our inspiration.
We believe nature and children go hand in hand and for this reason we knew we were going to have a focus on children getting dirty and exploring nature on a regular basis. Taking the time to smell the flowers, watching ants move and listening to birds sing are all joys nature has to offer and we wanted an aspect of our programme to offer this too. We developed a Forest Education programme which has become a favourite part of the children’s week. Each venue is different from the last with new and exciting learning opportunities on hand. Children have the time to touch, smell, and listen to the beauty nature has to offer with love and curiosity as questions are pondered. We have splashed in puddles, looked for bugs and insects under logs, seen baby lambs, pukekoes and gooslings. Some of our children received a Butterfly and Bee brigade badge for the work they did in building a new habitat for Bees and Monarch Butterflies within their local communities.
Sustainablity was another important aspect for us, we knew that each home would be uniquely different and had to decide on how sustainability would look for us. We wanted this to be an engaging learning experience for children, one they could be fully involved in. We decided to start small, each home was to have a vegetable garden where children could plant their seeds, watch them sprout, and eventually harvest what they have grown and either eat with the educator or take home to share with the whanau. All of our educators have taken this on with enthuasiam. As we look at how sustainability has evolved within the daily programmes, we now not only have vegetable gardens being tendered, but worms being fed and castings extracted, chickens being cared for and eggs collected. Upcycling has been another exciting avenue some of our educators have taken on with the building of mud kitchens. Reels and planks are being used daily as loose parts start to take a strong hold within the learning enviornments. We are very excited that one of our educators has started making a willow hut. The opportunites are endless, we are always on the look out for new ideas to keep developing this part of our programme.
Our quest for quality was simple, we wanted to have a team of like minded professionals who had passion, showed commitment and shared our beliefs on how children learn. For this reason we choose to be licensed as a quality service, meaning we could only have trained educators on our team, a decision that we cherish each day. Being a quality service allows us to give back to our educators and families, to offer 20 hrs ECE with no optional fees and to provide top level professional development to our whole team of educators. We now have a strong, dedicated team of trained educators. Their daily programmes are based on loving and respectful relationships, uninterrupted play, free movement and exploration allowing children to unfold naturally. Children dance to their own innate learning rhythm making us an organic, wholesome care service, built on the foundations of trusting and secure relationships.
‘Organic Kids, a real home away from home, open to investigation where children of all ages can lead their own journey of self-discovery’.
Kia ora and welcome to term 1!
We are excited to be planning another great year with Organic Kids. We have some great events for our children, educators and whanāu to be part of this term. With the warmer weather please remember to sun block your children prior to them arriving into care in the morning, your educator will reapply as need throughout the day. Don’t forget a change of clothes, as water play will be on offer!
We have changed the way we review our policies. Each month your educator will have out the policies under review for you to have a read and sign off if you wish too. Most of our policies are reviewed annually and we would love parent input into this process, your time reading and signing these is appreciated.
Updating Contact Details
We have had a few families change email addresses and home addresses lately. Your educators will be receiving copies of what we currently have for you in our system. Can you please check these and make any necessary changes to ensure we have everyone’s correct contact details and emergency contact details and leave with your educator for Louise to collect on her next visit.
Christchurch Rocks – Facebook Page
Sonia, one of our educators, found a great Facebook page Christchurch Rocks. Community members are painting and hiding rocks in different parks and reserves around Christchurch for children to find and re hide for other little explorers to find. The locations are posted on the page and some of the rocks look amazing!
Organic Kids are planning on joining in on the fun. We will paint rocks at our playgroups and hide them at a couple of our forest education venues and post for other children to find them!
We will plan a forest education morning to hide our rocks and search for some previously hidden. We will keep you posted on our family Facebook page. If you are not part of this, and wish to be, please request the friendship of Bec Knight and she will add you to this closed group.
Ahakoa he iti he pounamu
Although it is small it is a treasure
Kia ora and welcome to term 4!
We have an exciting term of events planned and would love you to join in! The weather is (or will be!) heating up soon, please bring a sunhat every day in term 4 and spare clothes as water play, messy play and more outside fun in the sun will be happening! Please sun block your child/ren prior to them arriving into care in the morning and your educator will reapply as needed throughout the day.
Kia ora and Welcome to Term 3!
What glorious Autumn weather we have had this term. Our programme has been very busy this month with children getting out amongest the fallen leaves at Forest Education, preparing and making soup at Playgroup and enjoying a fun filled morning at the Air Force Museum. As we head into winter, please remember to bring warm clothing for outside exploration and lets keep those winter bugs away!
Aspirations of parents
New feedback forms were sent out early July to all families of children who have had a birthday this year to date. Moving forward these will be sent out in the month of your child’s birthday to give you a more formal way of inputting into your child’s programme. Please do take the time to express your wishes and hopes for your child’s learning for the upcoming year.
We truly value a collaborative approach to your child’s learning and our aim is to ensure family wishes and aspirations are acknowledged and respected. We ask these to be emailed back to Louise, who will then share them with your educator.
Yeah Baby Conference
Organic Kids Educators are attending Yeah Baby. This is a specialist conference concerned with the education and care of our infants from birth to three year of age. All Educators have been invited to attend this fantastic professional development opportunity with us.
The conference includes six 45 minute workshops on current topics relating to teaching in the early childhood sector, we are all looking forward to this new learning to provoke further inspiration in our teaching.
Another great term at Organic Kids playgroup as we work with the children supporting their interests and stages of development. This term we were celebrating a successful harvest and a new growing season due to Matariki – the Maori New Year. We made soup one morning where the children were able to use kitchen utensils such as a peeler, grater and vegetable knives. The children then took their soup home to eat for lunch.
We have been looking for a venue for an Oxford Playgroup, until we find one Katrina has kindly offered her home. Oxford Playgroup will be weekly on a Wednesday and start 17th August, excluding school holidays. 9:30am – 11:30am.
Kia ora and Welcome to Term 2!
THANK-YOU to all our families who have been referring their friends to us, and for your amazing comments on social media threads. We both really appreciate your ongoing support! We currently have spaces available in Parklands, North New Brighton, Kaiapoi and Oxford. If you know anyone looking for childcare in these areas, let them know we have fantastic, qualified home educators with spaces available.
Please have a look at the child health policy. We want to keep illness to a minimum this winter for the children and teachers. Please keep your child at home if they have no interest in play, have a temperature of 38 degrees or over, have had diarrhea or vomited in the last 48 hours or have a bad cold or cough (clear runny noses are fine, as this can be a constant in winter). Let’s keep everyone healthy!
We are slowly phasing out the email@example.com address. Any change of hours or fee queries email Bec who takes care of these areas firstname.lastname@example.org The Ministry of Education requires us to have two-way communication with our families from time to time. We would love to hear how things are going for you and your family as feedback is always appreciated. Any programme related queries or feedback please email Louise. email@example.com
Aspirations of Parents – Feedback form
Our hope in creating this form is to give parents and caregivers more formal input into their child’s individual learning. Please do take the time to express your wishes and hopes for your child’s learning for the upcoming year. These will be emailed out each year during the month of your child’s birthday. We ask these to be emailed back to Louise, who will then share them with your educator. We will start this process in June, if your child has already had a birthday this year you will also get a form in June.
If your child gets a new immunisation can you please provide your home educator with a copy or take a photo and email it though to Louise so we can maintain accurate and current records. firstname.lastname@example.org